February Beef Management Tips

Beef management tips for February, by Dr. Scott P. Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, Virginia Tech.

Beef management tips for February, by Dr. Scott P. Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, Virginia Tech.

Spring Calving Herds

  • Have all calving supplies on hand and review calving assistance procedures
  • Move pregnant heifers and early calving cows to calving area about 2 weeks before due date
  • Check cows 3 to 4 times per day during calving season, heifers more often to assist early if needed
  • Keep calving area clean and well drained, move healthy pairs out to large pastures 3 days after calving
  • Ear tag and dehorn all calves at birth; castrate male calves in commercial herds
  • Give selenium and vitamin A & D injections to newborn calves
  • Late gestation mature cows should gain 1.0 lbs per day
  • Target gain for pregnant heifers and 3-yr olds should be 2.0-2.5 lbs per day
  • Keep high quality, high magnesium mineral available
  • Vaccinate cows against scours if it has been a problem
  • Evaluate herd genetic goals and assess bull battery, make plans to attend spring bull sales and/or order AI semen
  • Frost seed clovers (mid to late in the month)
Fall Calving Herds
  • End breeding season early in the month
  • Remove bulls and check condition
  • Begin creep feeding or creep grazing calves if desired
  • Plan marketing strategy for calves
  • Begin feeding high magnesium minerals to prevent grass tetany
  • Continue to check calves closely for health issues
  • Frost seed clovers (mid to late in the month)